The Association of Investment Trust Companies is to represent Venture Capital Trusts.
Some 70 VCTs have responded to the AITC’s call for membership applications – or about 78% of the VCT sector by assets.
Of key interest for investors and advisers will be the decision to include VCT data in the AITC’s monthly statistics tables, as well as its website, where further fund information can be obtained.
A spokesperson for the AITC says the move to also provide technical advice and information as well as lobby on behalf of the VCT sector does not mean it was taking over the role of the British Venture Capital Association.
“The BVCA will still be in the sort of role that represents providers rather than individual funds. The AITC’s position is that of representing shareholders – the investment trusts – and this is the sort of role it will play on behalf of the individual VCTs.”
“The AITC will report on VCTs in exactly the same way it does for investment trusts.”
Other support for management of individual VCTs is intended to come through the VCT Forum and the VCT Technical Committee, both of which the AITC believes will give it a better handle on the specific issues affecting the sector.
Many VCT managers and providers were downcast following the most recent Budget, when the government announced a reduction in the tax relief offered investors in such investment vehicles.
The AITC feels, however, assuming a VCT investment is not made solely on the basis of the tax break on offer but on the basis of a fund’s underlying investment strategy and assets held, it is a sector which is “established”, worth more than £2bn, and which does have a genuine place in the investment spectrum.
It is likely the AITC will take up the lobbying efforts to try to pursuade the government to reverse its tax relief limits, although nothing concrete has been decided yet.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Jonathan Boyd on 020 7484 9769 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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